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As we embrace it, Philippines eyes even more Aussies

Is the Philippines the next Thailand or Fiji?

Australia is already the fifth largest visitor market to The Philippines, and numbers from down under are rising, but the Southeast Asian nation isn’t resting on its laurels.


At the 15th Philippine Travel Exchange (PHITEX), Australia was identified as one of the major focal points of the Philippines Tourism Promotions Board (TPB).


A tarsier, Bohol


Although the Philippines is naturally keen to lure more long-haul visitors, it’s still prioritising its short-haul markets, of which the TPB includes Australia.


“At the moment, we’re targeting the traditional markets; that means those who are producing more than 100,000 like Korea, China, Australia,” PHITEX deputy secretary general Susana J. Del Mundo said on the sidelines of the event, which was held this week in Manila.


Indeed Aussie arrivals in the Philippines numbered well over that figure, at nearly quarter of a million (241,000).


Whale sharks, Butanding


“Australia is still a priority market … that’s the reason why we’re going there next week,” TPB marketing and promotions deputy chief operating officer Maricon B Ebron told Traveltalk, referring to an upcoming sales mission to Australia.


When asked about the demographic of visitors, Ms Ebron said the country saw a “cross section” of travellers, although most are still attracted to the island nation’s beaches and water activities.


Long a scuba diving mecca, the Philippines is also beginning to focus on surfing tourism, which would no doubt put it in good stead with many Australians.  



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One of a number of Aussie delegates at the event, itravel travel manager Roslyn Ranse said travel to the Philippines was “booming”, and that there was a real opportunity in selling the country to Australians.


Describing the Philippines as a real “flop and drop” destination, Ms Ranse told Traveltalk the ASEAN nation “could be the next Fiji or Thailand”.


Traveltalk is providing exclusive Australian coverage of PHITEX as a guest of the Department of Tourism Philippines, and is staying at the Marriott Manila Hotel. The writer flew to Manila with Philippines Airlines.


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 7 September 2016

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